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Thread: Ardennes, Vosges, Black Forest, Stelvio, Italian Lakes

  1. #97
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    120
    Morning All,

    A quick summary of my trip to Italy, which was utterly amazing!

    Day 1 - London to Ardennes
    Not much to say about it. We headed down to Folkestone, where we had to wait for the train due to 1.5 hrs delay, we reached Calais and we continued towards Lille on the highway. Close to Lille we started following some B roads and by 6pm we reached Charleville-Mezieres, a very nice town in the middle of the Ardennes. I recommend visiting it for its Canal, the Place Ducal and also the historic centre. Have a beer at 'La Peniche', a boat made pub / restaurant along the canal - really good Belgian beer.
    We stayed at 'La Clef Des Champs', which I recommend for the price/quality. Breakfast was good.

    Day 2 - Ardennes to Baden-Baden
    Early call in order to reach Baden-Baden in the mid noon. That was a nice ride as the sun was up in the sky, the French countryside is pretty nice and we also managed to cross part of the Vosges natural park. We had our lunch (picnic) in the middle of a wood in the Vosges and we managed to reach Baden-Baden around 3pm.
    In Baden-Baden we stayed at the 'Beek Hotel', which I recommend because it's in the very centre of the city but at the same time very quite as it is located in a pedestrian area and it's 1min walk from the Caracalla Thermae, where we went to have some relax in the afternoon of our day 3, after a (very wet) ride.

    Day 3 - Baden-Baden SPA Route
    As previously mentioned in this thread, we did the SPA route as suggested my the tourism office. Some villages are really worth seeing and I recommend to do this (see previous post for the itinerary). The only downside was the weather: in the afternoon on our way back we were caught by a pretty big storm and we had to ride more than 2 hours under heavy rain. Thankfully when we got back to Baden-Baden the sun was high in the sky and we had some relax at the SPA (see above).

    Day 4 - Baden-Baden to Kloten
    Sun was high in the sky and the day couldn't start in a better way than having an amazing ride on the B500. We met a friend of mine on the Titisee lake and we visited the 'Rothaus', a brewery with a very good restaurant (http://www.rothaus.de/en).
    After having a fulfilling lunch we headed down to the Rhein Falls (must see) and we ended our day ride in Kloten, where we spent the night at my friend's place.

    Day 5 - Kloten to Chur through Susten, Grimsel and Furka Passes
    The Susten from south to north is an absolute joy to see and ride. Also the Grimsel and Furka (done in this order) are very good. Amazing roads, amazing views.

    Day 6 - Chur to Livigno
    We were planning to do the Silvretta Road and the Timmelsjoch but the forecast was saying 'rain' so we ended up reaching Livigno through the Albula, Ofen and Stelvio Passes. I agree with the ones who say that the Stelvio is not a great road to ride (the Italian bit, which has to many hairpins) but the view form the top is amazing.
    A pass that nobody mentioned but I found really enjoyable in terms of riding is the Ofen Pass: road is large and you can see other vehicles coming from distance. I really enjoyed riding it. And again, the scenery was an absolute wonder. In that area there is the Ela Park, which I recommend to cross because the vegetation over there is unique.
    We reached Livigno right after lunch time and we had a nice relaxing afternoon hanging around under a warm sun and crystal clear Italian sky.
    We stayed at the 'Bio Hotel Villa Cecilia', which I recommend. It is in partnership with the hotel 'Cervo' and they share the same SPA area.
    We had dinner at 'Agriturismo La Tresenda', 10mins ride from Livigno going south. If you happen to be in Livigno you must have a meal there!
    PS: if you need to fill your tank Livigno is the right place to do it as no tax is applied - 1L is € 0.9.

    Day 7 - Livigno to Lake of Como
    We left the hotel early in the morning and we did the tunnel to go back to Switzerland, then we did the Often, Albula (again), Fluela and Julier Passes. After that we reached the Spluga and then all the way down to Como. We had our lunch break at the top of the Spluga Pass and we had a very tasty meal at 'La Capriata'.
    We reached 'Hotel Lario' in Mezzegra around 3pm and then we decided to have a quick shower and take the boat for Bellagio, where we had a nice walk, a typical Italian aperitif and dinner. The boat has to be taken from Cadenabbia and the walk from the hotel to the pier is very pleasant.

    Day 8 - Como to Langhe
    Early call, nice breakfast and we left Como heading to Montemarino, where we spent our last night.
    The ride was pretty boring as there is not twisty road in that area (Pianura Padana, very flat!). The weather was nice and and when we reached the Langhe area we had lunch at Agriturismo La Briccola' in Diano d'Alba.
    When we reached the 'Relais Montemarino' we had the chance to enjoy the swimming pool, the garden area in front of it and also the private SPA.
    We had dinner at 'Formaggeria Otto', where you can have a taste of the local cheese and wine.

    Day 9 - Langhe to Genoa (home)
    We had one of the most amazing breakfast I've ever had at the 'Relais Montemarino' and then we left heading south to Genoa. Before doing that we went to Bossolasco, where we bought some cheese from a local farmer.
    I know most of the roads in that area and I decided to do the Faiallo Pass. Weather wasn't as nice as I expected but the ride was good. Before reaching the Faiallo we stopped in Sassello, which is famous for the 'amaretti' and we obviously bought some.
    After doing the Faiallo Pass we did the Turchino Pass, which took us to the Aurelia, the road along the coast in Liguria. We ended our trip having some 'focaccia' and 'trofie al pesto' prepared by my granny.

    I hope you find the information above useful and if any questions do not hesitate to ask.

    Ciao,

    Gab

  2. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasher View Post

    If you want a good value Black Forest stop off Pension Williams is good, just off the B500 about 25 miles south of Baden (in a quiet little village) if you prefer a town I would suggest Triberg.
    +1, Pension Williams.... been there 6 times... English owners, clean and tidy, ample parking, food and drink nearby. Honesty bar, they know the area well. Nothing too much trouble. Enjoy

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